The thing about the Calcio Mercato is that it’s utterly unpredictable. This can lead to me hating it (see: Gennaro Gattuso) but also loving it when it goes Fiorentina’s way. In this case, I’m pumped. Nikola Milenković has officially signed a short-term extension with the club until 2023.
For the past year, we’ve all been resigned to losing Milenković. He’s refused to sign an extension, and there have been constant rumors of bigger clubs such as Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur eyeing him. He’s also a Fali Ramadani client, who we all know loves to move his clients on for a nice chunk of change whenever possible.
This summer was when we all expected him to make the leap, but for whatever reason, that aforementioned interest never materialized. A transfer to West Ham had been rumored for months, but fell through last week, leaving the Mountain with no concrete options away from Firenze.
As a result, this move is a win-win for both club and player. Fiorentina gets to keep their best defender for at least another season, while Milenković is finally paid what he’s worth (a reported €3 million a year) while maintaining the flexibility of a short-term contract. Should Milenković play well this season and decide to leave, there will still be interest and the club should be accommodating in letting him depart. It’s been reported he didn’t want to leave the club on a free transfer out of loyalty, which is something we can all respect.
It’s also no small feat that this is the first major renewal Rocco Commisso, Joe Barone, and Daniele Pradè have managed to achieve. I’ve criticized them all plenty, but here they deserve nothing but plaudits. Doing something which just last week I thought was impossible is seriously impressive, and this helps Fiorentina massively, both on and off the field.
Fiorentina’s center-back department is now completed. We know Nicky will start, now the question is which one of Igor, Lucas Martinez Quarta, and Matija Nastasic will play alongside him. With Pol Lirola looking set to leave and Davide Zappacosta seemingly his replacement, Fiorentina’s squad has two major holes to fill before the end of the window. First, the team needs another winger, in which Riccardo Orsolini is the top name. Next, a playmaking midfielder is also desperately needed, as Erick Pulgar and Alessandro Bianco don’t offer enough for a full Serie A campaign. Should those two moves and a Dušan renewal materialize, I’ll give Fiorentina an A in the mercato, something I haven’t seen in a long time. Let’s hope the good vibes continue for the rest of the mercato and the opening match of Serie A against Roma this Sunday.